If this is your first time applying for site plan approval in Guelph, please schedule an initial meeting with the City’s site plan coordinator to discuss conceptual plans, a proposed project, the site plan process and any additional planning approvals you may need. To set up a meeting please submit:
An initial meeting request form
Pre-consultation submission and meeting
This is the first required step in the site plan application process.You (the property owner/agent) will meet with City staff to identify technical issues and discuss the application(s), drawings, studies and any other information that should be included in your site plan application. Your pre-consultation submission must be submitted digitally and include the following:
- Site plan application transmittal form
- Site plan pre-consultation application
- Cover letter outlining the proposed development
- Site plan drawing
To avoid delays, please ensure your submission is complete. The City will not accept the application if it is missing information or is not submitted digitally.
Please send your submission to:
Site Plan Coordinator, Planning Services
City of Guelph
1 Carden Street, third floor
Guelph, ON N1H 3A1
Site Plan Review Committee
Your pre-consultation submission will be reviewed by Guelph’s Site Plan Review Committee which includes City employees with expertise in:
- Economic development
- Landscape planning
- Park planning
- Planning and zoning
- Environmental planning
- Heritage planning
- Source water protection
- Traffic engineering
- Urban design
Please submit your pre-consultation application at least two weeks in advance of your desired meeting date. We will review your pre-consultation application and send you some initial feedback. We will confirm the date and time at least one week before the meeting.
During the meeting
You are invited to discuss the application and ask any questions you may have. The discussion typically takes about 45 minutes.
Committee members comment on the proposed site plan and identify potential issues or areas of concern.
We will confirm whether your application will proceed through the standard or the minor site plan approval process.
After the meeting
After the meeting, you will receive a summary of comments describing the outcome of the meeting, and the steps you need to take to proceed with a formal site plan application.
After the pre-consultation meeting, please begin any required Environmental Impact Studies or Environmental Implementation Reports required. These studies must be complete when you submit your formal site plan application.
Procedures and guidelines
Prepare your site plan application
Typically, site plan applications are submitted, reviewed, and resubmitted when you obtain all necessary documents, studies, drawings and reports. The review process is repeated until the City approves the site plan.
Please use the summary of comments from the pre-consultation meeting to prepare your formal site plan application package including:
- Site plan application transmittal form
- Site plan application
- Building Code analysis
if new information is provided
- All required copies of a cover letter explaining how each comment was addressed
- All required copies of drawings
- All required copies of supporting studies
- Unit numbering plan and unit layouts for all buildings
For multi-level buildings include a floor plan for each level showing unit numbers
- Property identifying Number (PIN) document from the Ontario Land Registry Office Wellington No. 61 (if updated since last submission)
- Site plan application fee
- Site plan agreement fee
- Environmental administration fee (as required)
- Lighting Guidelines for Lighting Plans
The Site Plan Review Committee will meet and discuss your application, and provide a summary of comments after the meeting.
Submit your site plan application
Your application is processed as soon as we receive all required materials. Please allow at least three weeks for members of the Site Plan Review Committee to receive, review, discuss and comment on the application.
Please use the Final Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) summary comments and the Site Plan Resubmission Guidance Document to prepare and resubmit your complete application. Your resubmission will need to include any documents, reports and/ or studies, additional permissions, approvals or agreements as outlined in the Final Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) summary comments such as:
- Updated site plan application (if new information is provided)
- Cover letter and response letter (in accordance with the Site Plan Resubmission Guidance Document)
- Revisions to submitted plans
- Revisions to supporting studies
- Cultural heritage (Heritage Guelph)
- Minor variances, severance, easements, rights-of-way, and partial charges (Committee of Adjustment)
- Road-widening dedication
- On-site landscaping cost estimate prepared by a member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects with seal
- Public open space landscaping cost estimate prepared by a member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects with seal
- Work in the right-of-way cost estimate prepared by a consulting engineer
- Dedication/lifting of 0.3 metre reserves
- Encroachment agreement
- Removal of Holding Provision
- Demolition permit
- Site alteration permit
You may also require approvals from other agencies including but not limited to:
- External agencies; Grand River Conservation Authority
- Provincial or federal agencies including Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of Transportation Ontario, MetroLinx, Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada Post
- Guelph Hydro, Union Gas, Bell Canada, Rogers, other utility companies
- Canadian National Railway, Guelph Junction Railway
Please contact the site plan coordinator or any of the technical experts on the committee if you require further information or clarification to prepare your site plan application.
Site plan application review
For minor site plan applications
The committee will review your site plan application and provide written comments. Please respond to these comments and re-submit plans or reports as required.
When the committee is satisfied the application meets all requirements, the City will approve the site plan.
For standard site plan applications
The site plan Review Committee will invite you to meet to discuss your application. Please submit your site plan application package at least three weeks in advance of your desired meeting date. A longer review period may be required for large or complex developments.
We will confirm your meeting date and time one week in advance, and you will receive a copy of all written comments in advance of the meeting.
If minor revisions are required:
- Please revise and resubmit specific documents as required.
- You may apply for conditional approval to start construction before you have full site plan approval. Separate building permits and building permit fees are required for each stage of a conditional site plan approval
If major revisions are required:
- Please revise and resubmit the application for review, comment and discussion at a future site plan Review Committee meeting.
If approval is recommended
- You will enter into a site plan agreement with the City
- You will pay any required deposits and securities
Enter into a site plan agreement
When the Site Plan Review Committee recommends your application for approval, you will enter into a site plan agreement with the City. The City prepares the agreement for your review. The agreement sets out the obligations to build and maintain the site according to the drawings approved by the City.
The site plan agreement is signed by the registered property owner and/or the developer and any mortgagees. Alternatively, the mortgage may be postponed by the mortgagee/lender in favour of the site plan agreement. The postponement must be registered on title in a form approved by the City at the applicant’s expense. Agreements are registered on the title of the property to ensure they are honoured by any subsequent landowners.
Please submit the signed site plan agreement. If any changes are required, additional fees may apply.
Receive site plan approval
When we receive your signed agreement you will receive site plan approval. We will prepare two sets of final site plan drawings for you to pick up at City Hall. We will mail copies of the registered site plan agreement to all parties within two weeks of site plan approval.
You will receive an invoice for registration and title search disbursements. This charge is in addition to the site plan agreement fee.
For new subdivisions, we will ensure the property is serviced according to the Zoning Bylaw prior to issuing site plan approval.
When your site plan is approved you may apply for your building permit(s). Please ensure any subdivision block(s) are released before submitting your building permit application.
Contact Building Services
Inspections and securities
When construction is complete, please schedule a site inspection. Any work in public open spaces will require a separate inspection.
The site plan inspector will review building location and elevations, parking layout, site servicing, grading and drainage, landscaping and information signs.
When the site passes initial inspection, you will receive a letter noting your final inspection date. Any appropriate security deposits are refunded when the City finds the work is completed according to the approved site plan.
If the site does not pass inspection, you will receive a letter explaining what actions to take before requesting a re-inspection. These actions may include, but are not limited to, planting landscaping, repainting parking lot lines and/or installing signs.
If the site plan inspector finds major deficiencies in the building elevations, site servicing, grading alteration and/or parking lot configurations, you will receive an inspection letter noting that you must apply to amend the approved site plan.
A pre-consultation meeting is required before applying to amend the site plan approval. Please submit plans showing the constructed development, and any other plans requested in your inspection letter to the site plan Review Committee.
The City is not obligated to approve updated plans and may require the development to be built in accordance with the approved site plan.
If the Site Plan Review Committee approves the amended site plan, please schedule a site inspection.
If on-site landscaping survives for one full year, the site is deemed to be in general compliance with the approved landscape plans. Any remaining portion of the landscaping security deposit is released.
If the landscaping has not been maintained according to the approved plans for one full year, it must be replaced and re-inspected after a winter season has passed.
If landscaping is not completed within two years of issuing the occupancy permit, we will notify you of our plans to use the posted securities to pay for any outstanding landscaping costs.
The file will remain open until full compliance is granted.
When the site complies with the site plan, engineering, landscaping and elevation plans, it is considered to be in full compliance. You will receive a letter stating the site is in full compliance and the file will be closed.
Alternative formats are available upon request in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.
City of Guelph Site Plan User Guide – June 2017 (print-friendly version)
For more information
City of Guelph Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 5616
Please note The City of Guelph development application process, guidelines and schedules are governed by the Ontario Planning Act.